Many OTA portals can use iCAL for real-time availability checking - Air B&B, Vrbo (Homeaway), FlipKey, 9Flats, ...
Calendar channels, otherwise known as Vacation Rental Sites, have become very popular in recent years as the typical traveler has become more internet savvy. These channels provide travelers with many options, from renting low cost bedrooms to booking stays at palatial estates. These channels have tapped into the public's desire to stay in "real" places away from tourist areas.
If your property is not marketed correctly, calendar channels can become a real competitive threat. Thankfully, WebBookingPro has you covered as we can integrate with any calendar channel that uses the standard iCal format.
With a typical channel (such as with booking.com od Agoda), WebBookingPro has a direct connection where we can send many values, such as:
Calendar-based channels work differently from those channels. With calendar channels, we provide them with a special calendar file that contains "appointments". This is similar to placing an appointment on your personal calendar, but in this case, the appointments lasts an entire night. Dates that are not booked are "empty", so they remain Available for booking.
With Calendar channels, WebBookingPro can only send Availability with support for Closed dates. All other values must be set directly in the channel's extranet, such as:
Your availability is constantly updated based on the reservations and other data that is sent to WebBookingPro. With this information, WebBookingPro updates the calendar file in real-time with your updated Availability.
Although these files are constantly updated by WebBookingPro, the calendar channel itself only "asks" for new information in the file approximately every 6 hours.
For Airbnb specifically, they "pull" data from WebBookignPro every hour. This is their native update timeframe.
Some channels use calendar check in real-time.
All Calendar Channels are considered One-Way channels. If you choose to use iCAL Connection, you will have to manually adjust inventory for any incoming bookings coming from those channels.
Example: Let's say you choose to connect HomeAway (Vrbo) to WebookingPro. Here is the chain of events:
Cancellations from a calendar channel cannot be transmitted to any 3rd parties (including WebBookingPro).
Since WebBookingPro is unaware of any Calendar Channel cancellations, the property must manage the inventory manually.
Every OTA has in his extranet part where you enter direct link (URL) to iCAL for each room type.
Those links are created by WebBookingPro.
Log in WebBookingPro, go to Hotel Management - Hotel Info and find [Settings] under Channel Manager.
if you do not see iCAL under listed Channel Managers, choose "Add New", select iCAL and click "Create".
Now click on [Map Rooms] under iCAL row and you will find all links for your property.
For each property room type or room or house/Villa you will find those links:
Copy those links and past them in your desired OTA's extranet.